March 10th ,2019
1. In verses 19-23 we see that Saul (soon to be called Paul) began to "proclaim Jesus" (verse 20) and "increasing in strength" and "proving that this Jesus is the Christ" (verse 22). HOW SOON AFTER YOUR CONVERSION DID YOU SPEAK ABOUT JESUS? HOW DID YOU "INCREASE IN STRENGTH" SPIRITUALLY? WHAT IS REASONABLE TO EXPECT FROM NEW BELIEVERS IN TERMS OF THEIR WITNESS TO NEW LIFE IN CHRIST? See verse 18b; also, the experiences of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:34-38 and the Philippian jailer in Acts 31-34.
2. In verses 26-27 we see that once Saul arrived in Jerusalem he was met with fear from the disciples who didn't believe he was now a changed man (a disciple of Jesus), and a man named Barnabas advocated for him (represented him positively) to the apostles. WHO HAS BEEN A "BARNABAS" IN YOU SPIRITUAL LIFE, HELPING YOU FIND FELLOWSHIP AND ACCEPTANCE AMONG OTHER CHRISTIANS? WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Compare Acts 15:36-41 with II Timothy 4:11. Also see Romans 14:1 - 15:13.
3. Verse 31 describes the early Church as continuing to "increase" as they were "going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit." HOW ARE THESE TWO FACTORS, THE FEAR OF THE LORD AND THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTIVE IN OUR CHURCH AT LAUREL TODAY? WHAT EVIDENCE FOR EACH DO YOU SEE IN OUR CHURCH? COMPARE THIS SIMPLE STATEMENT OF THESE TWO FACTORS IN VERSE 31 WITH TODAY'S "CHURCH GROWTH" TECHNIQUES